Common mental health problems 55
As you grow older
Your body will continue to change as you grow and age. Your daily tasks will take
longer, some disabilities will get worse, and you may get ‘secondary’ disabilities
from overuse of certain parts of your body. As you grow older, more things may
go ‘wrong’ with your body and you will have to adapt the way you do things
frequently. These constant changes can make you feel as though you will never
be really independent and that you must constantly rely on others to help you.
Feelings that your dependence is increasing can affect your self-esteem.
See Chapter 13, Growing older.
If you are feeling sad a lot of the time, or you are
unable to sleep, or if you see changes in your mood,
talk to someone in your family you trust, or talk
with a health worker.
Serious depression can lead to suicide (killing oneself). Many people have
thoughts of suicide at least once in their life. But when these thoughts
come more and more often or get very strong, you need help from a trained
counselor or mental health worker right away.
• Are you feeling lonely and isolated from family or friends?
• Have you lost the desire to live?
• Do you regularly use alcohol or drugs?
• Do you have a serious health problem?
• Have you thought of killing yourself?
• Have you ever tried to kill yourself?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ you may feel better simply
by talking about your problems with someone you trust. Some counselors
or doctors also may use medicines to treat depression.
If someone you know talks about killing herself,
encourage someone to watch her closely and to
be with her at all times.
Ask them to remove dangerous objects from
her surroundings. If there are mental health
services in your community, find out if someone
can talk with her regularly.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007